7 Generations Pre-Orientation Program

Building and Serving Community

7 Generations Collage

Our 7 Generations pre-orientation community service trips are offered each August to a small group of incoming students. Each of the three trips focuses on an important social issue in our area and allows students to learn about that issue while working together on related service projects. 7 Generations is an incredible opportunity to get connected to community service at W&M, meet 9 other incoming students, and make a positive impact before move-in day.

Why Participate? 
  • Learn about diverse social issues and community-building solutions
  • Address those issues through direct service with community organizations
  • Serve with other incoming students interested in community engagement and get an early introduction to William & Mary

Here's what past participants have to say about the experience: 

"This trip not only taught me a lot about issues in our community, but it also allowed me to help make a difference with great people while becoming more comfortable at my new school."

"Interacting with the community and doing hands-on work at the roots of an issue, like working at Shalom Farms, were both irreplaceable experiences I gained from participating in 7Generations."

"Before attending the trip, I was uncertain about my placement at William and Mary and the Williamsburg community, but through service, teamwork, and laughter, I realized that I can make an impact through my school, my ideas, and hard work."

7 Generations 2016 - August 15-18

In Summer 2016 we will offer three trips. Registration is open June 1-July 1, and trips are filled on a first come, first served basis.         

Housing Disparities

This trip will focus on housing disparities in the WIlliamsburg area and community-based responses. Students will learn about the challenges of finding safe and affordable housing in Williamsburg by partnering with local organizations such as Habitat ReStore, Housing Partnerships, and a local day shelter.

Hunger And...

This trip will focus on how hunger and food access intersect with other local issues like education, physical health, transportation, and time. Students will learn about these issues and address food insecurity through service with community organizations such as Erase the Need, School Health Initiative, and Grove Christian Outreach.  

Historical Justice

This trip will focus on the ways the history of minority populations and oppressed people is (and is not) represented in the community with a focus on elevating those stories. Students will work with The Lemon Project, Jamestown Yorktown Foundation, and other local organizations to understand and highlight underrepresented histories. 

All participants will check-in on Monday and complete an afternoon of service together. On Monday evening participants will split into their three teams and head to their respective housing. Tuesday through Thursday each trip will volunteer with community partners, explore campus and the local community, and engage in guided reflection.  

Daily schedules are still in development for this year's trips, but below is a typical day schedule for three previous trips.  

Animals in Community

Food Access

Unstable Housing

9-2 pm Heritage Humane Society,  lunch on site

2:30-5pm Dream Catchers Therapeutic Riding

5:30-6:30pm Dinner

7pm K9 Connection Service Dogs 


8:30-1:30pm Kel Rae Farms, lunch on farm

2-3pm Farmer's Market

3-6:30 pm Campus Kitchen Cooking Shift

6:30-7:30 pm Dinner

7:30 Guided tour of campus with student leaders


8:30-12pm  3E Homelessness Restoration

12:30-1:30 Lunch with Williamsburg Housing Authority

2-5pm Habitat ReStore

5:30-6:30 Dinner

 7pm Housing Documentary


Each trip costs $185 per student.  These fees include travel expenses during the trip, food, housing and education materials. Payments are due by July 15 and will be processed online. Further instructions on payment are provided when you register for the trip.

A limited number of $100 scholarships are available and you may apply for a scholarship through the registration form.  

Other First Year Experiences

Can't commit to the whole week of 7 Generations or just want to add even more community engagement to the start of your W&M experience? Consider signing up for SHOW Day

Want to continue your commitment through your freshman year at William and Mary? Apply for the Aim 4 program a curricular and experiential program to support students develop their path to active citizenship.